Today’s Headlines and Comments – Lawfare
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Federal prosecutors have opened an investigation into whether classified White House documents found at former President Trump’s Mar-a-lago home were mishandled, reports the New York Times. The Justice Department is reportedly looking into the potential involvement of Trump and other White House officials in the improper movement of sensitive documents. So far in the investigation, prosecutors have issued a subpoena to the National Archives and Records Administration for access to boxes of classified documents. Investigators also sent interview requests to people who worked at the White House during Trump’s final days in office.
The House select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol has subpoenaed five Republican members of Congress, writing the New York Times. The panel issued subpoenas to Representatives Kevin McCarthy, Scott Perry, Jim Jordan, Mo Brooks and Andy Biggs. The five representatives have previously declined select committee requests for voluntary interviews about their alleged involvement in Trump’s attempt to void the 2020 presidential election.
A Ukrainian court has opened hearings in the first war crimes trial against a Russian soldier, according to the Washington Post. Russian Sergeant. Vadim Shishimarin faces a war crimes charge for shooting and killing a 62-year-old Ukrainian civilian in Sumy, Ukraine. According to Ukraine’s attorney general, Shishimarin is charged with violating “the laws and customs of war combined with premeditated murder”.
The executive body of the European Union has proposed establishing trade corridors that would allow Ukraine to circumvent the Russian blockade of its Black Sea ports, reports the Washington Post. According to the European Commissioner for Transport, the EU must establish “paths of solidarity” so that Ukraine can resume its exports of around 22 million tonnes of cereals essential to the world’s food supply. In addition to the challenges caused by Russian blockades, Ukrainian export convoys face long delays when trying to cross borders into Europe due to the different rail gauges used by Ukraine and the EU. To address the problem, the EU’s executive body urged EU “market players” to provide vehicles to transport freight, and urged customs officials to “apply maximum flexibility”.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry has warned that Moscow will be forced to take ‘retaliatory measures’ against Finland if it becomes a NATO member, writing BBC. According to a statement issued by the Russian Foreign Ministry, Russia believes Finland’s NATO membership would damage bilateral relations and also threaten security and stability in Northern Europe. Finland is expected to officially announce on Sunday its decision whether or not to continue joining the bloc.
The US intelligence community has launched a broad internal review following intelligence failures on the crises in Ukraine and Afghanistan, according to CNN. The review will reportedly examine how the intelligence community assesses the combat power of foreign military personnel. The review comes at the encouragement of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which sent a confidential letter to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Department of Defense and the CIA pointing out the failure of the three agencies to assess how long the Ukrainian army would be able to repel the Russian attacks and also how long the Afghan fighters could hold out against the Taliban after the withdrawal of American troops.
Costa Rica has declared a state of emergency amid ‘crippling’ ransomware attacks on government agencies, reports NBC News. Hackers reportedly infiltrated the servers of Costa Rica’s Ministry of Finance and from there could access the networks of other agencies such as the Ministry of Science, Technology and Telecommunications and the National Meteorological Institute. The “unprecedented” ransomware attack on government agencies reportedly disrupted the country’s tax collection processes and exposed citizens’ personal information. After an investigation, the US State Department determined that the hack was carried out by the ransomware gang known as Conti, most infamous for hacking into and disrupting Ireland’s national healthcare system in 2021.
ICYMI: Yesterday, Straight
Jen Patja Howell share an episode of the Lawfare Podcast in which Evelyn Douek and Quinta Jurecic spoke with Peter Guest about the government-sponsored internet blackouts.
David Priess share an episode of To chatter which features a conversation between Shane Harris and Trevor Paglen about his art that explores themes of surveillance, security and secrecy.
Philippe Zelikow describe a legal approach to the transfer of Russian assets to rebuild Ukraine.
Anastasia Bradatan Explain how Mohammed al-Qahtani’s motion for a joint medical commission could open a new path for Guantanamo detainees.
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